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Patent office governance and patent examination quality

  • Picard, Pierre M.
  • van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno

The present paper discusses the role of quality in patent examination process from the perspective of patent offices' behavior and organization. After documenting original stylized facts, the paper presents a model in which patent offices set patent fees and the quality level of their examination process. A higher effort in the examination process enhances the patent holders' protection in the judicial system and strengthens the screening of innovations with small inventive steps. We compare the quality of the examination process for various objectives of patent offices. Patent examination quality is the highest in an office maximizing incentives to innovate and the lowest in that maximizing the number of granted patents. A rent-seeking patent office can provide good incentives to innovate if it does not set too high markups on fees.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 104 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 14-25

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:104:y:2013:i:c:p:14-25
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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  1. Bruno Van Pottelsberghe & Matthis de Saint-Georges, 2011. "A quality index for patent systems," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2011-010, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. Jérôme Danguy & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, 2011. "Cost-Benefit Analysis of the Community Patent," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/101071, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  3. Malwina Mejer & Bruno Van Pottelsberghe, 2008. "The London Agreement and the Cost of Patenting in Europe," Working Papers ECARES 2008_032, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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  5. Farrell, Joseph & Shapiro, Carl, 2007. "How Strong Are Weak Patents?," Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series qt8vg425vj, Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
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  16. Scherer, F M, 1972. "Nordhaus' Theory of Optimal Patent Life: A Geometric Reinterpretation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(3), pages 422-27, June.
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